Adults Who Never Questioned The House Rules They Had As Kids And Just Realized That Not All Families Had Them

by Ayoub

When you're a kid, you basically have to adhere to any rules your parents come up with. The worst part is that you're not even allowed to suggest some of your own rules because you're a child and you still don't know what's good for you.

A lot of people grew up with numerous specific and weird rules that their parents enforced and made sure to punish anyone who would break them. 

It's pretty much like a dictatorship, as long as you don't pay the bills with your own money, you don't have the right to express your opinion about a lot of things. That's just how things work. (h/t)

1. A Flawed System

We voted as a family on all important decisions. Under 18s got half a vote each, so the three kids always got outvoted 2v1.5 but we were stupidly content that we’d lost in a ‘fair’ democratic vote.
The system collapsed when we had to decide whether to have a cat or not and Mam unexpectedly abstained.

2. Some pretty uncommon rules

I had SUPER laid back parents but there were a few certain things that they were randomly crazy strict about.
No gum. No play doh. No cereal with sugar as one of the top 3 ingredients. No Simpsons.
I had basically no rules growing up, but those four things would make them lose their goddamn minds. I still get anxious when I’m chewing gum and I’m 35.

3. Totally not weird...

Haiku night dinners.
Some nights we spoke in haiku
And only haiku

4. It is kind of weird

Not mine but my mother in law and her sister will fuss at you in you wash your hands in the kitchen sink. I think that’s weird.
If there’s a sink and some hand soap I say wash away. My wife isn’t like that.

5. How to embarrass your kids

I had to answer the phone “hello this is first-name last-name speaking” whenever I answered the phone (this is obv in the 80’s before caller ID on landlines.) My mom tried to make my childhood friends do it too when they called me to play. As in:
“Hi can I talk to geeltulpen?”
“Who is this?”
“It’s friend.”
“Well, friend, when you call this house and I answer the phone, you should say hello to me and then tell me that it’s you, your first name and last name, before you ask to speak to geeltulpen.”
Boy, was I popular.

6. Asking for permission

We weren’t allowed to eat anything without asking. Even a glass of water, we were required to ask first. When my boyfriend and I started dating, I would ask his parents if I could eat or drink something if I was hungry or thirsty and it was a hard habit to break when his mom told me I could literally eat or drink anything (other than the alcohol).
It was so weird to just go into the fridge or pantry without permission. I sometimes have to fight the urge to ask my bf if I can eat OUR food in OUR apartment.
When I went to my parents house of Christmas, I was reprimanded for getting an apple without asking first. It’s just all so weird but it used to be so normal.

7. Definitely not their favorite child

I had to wash the dishes every night, even if I wasn’t home for the meal. There were times I’d get home from an away basketball game (I was in the team) after 10pm and the dishes had sat since they finished eating around 6:30pm.
My older brother’s nightly chore? Take out the garbage.
He’d be done in 2 minutes. I’d have 30+ minutes of washing, drying, putting away, and cleaning up the kitchen.

8. That's a weirdly specific number

My dad made a rule that I had to kill seven flies a day during my summer break.

9. The food blanket

My family had a thing we called the food blanket. When we’d eat casual meals, we’d lay a blanket on the living room floor and eat on it, like a picnic. My parents didn’t want to get any food on the carpet. Instead of “set the table,” my mom would say, “go lay out the blanket.” I remember being really confused when I learned every family didn’t have a food blanket.

10. Total freedom of choice

My parents used a laissez faire parenting style. No censorship whatsoever. I watched Rocky Horror Picture Show with my brother when I was 7.
Pretty awkward when I brought the VHS with me to a sleepover at a friend’s house. The parents were mortified.

11. The Pissing Jar

Wasn’t in my home but my aunt and uncle never let us use the up stairs washroom when we were kids because they thought we’d touch the walls with our dirty hands so they made us piss in a jar they kept under the kitchen sink and just poured it down the drain when we were done. Never thought is was strange until I brought it up to my cousin a few years ago, we laughed pretty hard about it.

12. Manual climate control

Winter meant the thermostat was turned to 55, all vents but living room vent get closed, magnetic sheet put on the vents to prevent leaks, then ALL windows get the plastic sheeting & hairdryer treatment. Sheet hung from ceiling by staircase to prevent living room vent from sending all heat upstairs. Lots of baking done. Of course bathroom and kitchen vents stayed closed year round.
Summer meant thermostat set to 80, all vents downstairs get closed and magnetic sheet put on. Curtains would be drawn 24/7, oven use was kept to a minimum.

13. Absolute genius

My mum used to pay me to be my own babysitter between the ages of 10-14 or so. The rule was that as long as I didn't make a mess and I'd put myself to bed by the time she got home then I got $10 in the morning.